News-Medical.net - Reduction in Myelin Production May Also Play a Role in Development of Mental Illness

 – November 29, 2012  –– 

Reduced production of myelin, a type of protective nerve fiber that is lost in diseases like multiple sclerosis, may also play a role in the development of mental illness, according to researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A new study led by Patrizia Casaccia, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomics; and Neurology at Mount Sinai, and published in the journal Nature Neuroscience determined that depriving mice of social contact reduced myelin production, demonstrating that the formation of new oligodendrocytes is affected by environmental changes. "We knew that a lack of social interaction early in life impacted myelination in young animals but were unsure if these changes would persist in adulthood," said Dr. Casaccia, who is also Chief of the Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair at the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. - Dr. Patrizia Casaccia, Professor, Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomics, Neurology, Chief of the Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair at the Friedman Brain Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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